I am thrilled to respond to your HARO inquiry on behalf of Bill Sanders, a widely recognized authority on wine and olive oil and Founder of Crush and Press. Please see Bill’s insights below, and read on for his complete BIO. Please feel free to contact Bill directly for more information or for an interview, or if you prefer, contact me and I can help in the arrangements. Our contact info follows at the bottom of this email.
Is olive oil really all that it claims to be?
- Yes and No! All Extra Virgin olive oils are not the same. Unfortunately there is too much poor quality olive oil imported into the US. Because the U.S. has never adopted Federal standards for Extra Virgin olive oil, we have become the dumping ground for low quality and adulterated (i.e.hazelnut and canola) olive oils from Europe. These oils do not have the flavor and health benefits purported to be contained in genuine Extra Virgin olive oil. High quality Extra Virgin olive oil meets and can exceed claims about health benefits and flavor.
- In the US "Extra Virgin" printed on the label is not a good indication of quality. The US. has not adopted the International Olive Oil Council's standards for Extra Virgin. The state of California has adopted standards that are more stringent than the IOOC. These standards relate to levels of acidity, flavor and the balancing of the critical attributes: fruity, bitter and pungency. California olive oils carry a seal, "Certified Extra Virgin." For more information, see the California Olive Oil Council (www.cooc.com)
- In the US the act of placing a bottle of tap water on a store shelf having a label with the printed words, "Extra Virgin," is not illegal, except, perhaps, in California.
- Some olive oils are labeled simply as "olive oil." These are refined oils. Heat and chemicals have been used extract the remaining oil from the waste and residue of the original pressing.
- Throughout the Mediterranean there are olive trees that have been bearing fruit for centuries. In Tunisia, there are olive trees reported to been planted by the Phoenicians 3.000 years ago. Now, would you like to take advantage of those aging properties?
Why is "Virgin." better?
- High quality Extra Virgin olive oil has more flavor, freshness and a higher polyphenol component (and other health benefits) than other seed oils and refined olive oil.
- "Extra Light Olive Oil" has nothing to do with lower calories and offers little flavor and health benefits as compared to high quality Extra Virgin olive oil.
- Fruity, bitter and pungency attributes are strong indicators of flavor and presence of healthy components.
What are the health benefits of "High Quality Extra Virgin" olive oil?
- Olive oil is nature's rustoleum!
- Olive slows oxidation, i.e. aging, i.e. rusting.
- Olive oil oxidizes slower than saturated and polyunsaturated fats.
- Olive oil is the heart of the Mediterranean diet which has been proven to lower incidence of heart disease and cancer.
- Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, composes 80% of the fat in olive oil which offers established cardiovascular benefits.
- Oleic acid reduces LDLs, the bad cholesterol without decreasing HDLs, the good cholesterol.
- Oleic acid as been found to decrease the incidence of artherosclerosis and thrombosis.
- It has been proven to be beneficial to diabetics.
- Contains high levels of polypenols, antioxidants which slow the aging or rusting process.
- Olive oil is liquid Advil or Aleve. Oleocanthal, a compound present in olive oil, is similar to ibuprofen.
- Contains a powerful form of vitamin E, nature's anti-aging drug.
- Aids digestion. Next time you are suffering from indigestion take a tablespoon of a high quality olive oil.
- More on Mediterranean Diets, edited by A.P. Simopoulos and F. Visoli, offers a comprehensive summary of the research regarding olive oil.
And what exactly is cold pressed?
- Most olive oil experts agree that "cold pressed" is a worthless term and adds no value for the consumer. Asking for a cold pressed olive oil is the equivalent of walking into a wine store and asking for wines with alcohol only. The term offers absolutely no assurance of quality.
- A major benefit of olive oil is the production process which involves cooler temperatures, little water and no chemicals. It's a nature process. Speed of moving the harvested fruit from the tree to the processing mill without delay to avoid oxidation and sanitation in the mill itself are critical factors in the production of high quality Extra Virgin olive oil.
- The harvest date on an estate bottled olive oils offers an indication of freshness. Olive oil is not a stable product. Oxidation begins before the fruit is picked from the tree. Air, light, heat and age accelerates oxidation leading to rancidity. Officially olive oil should be consumed within 18-24 months of harvest. Most experts now agreed it's best to be consumed within 12-18 months. Again, this depends on the particular bottle of oil.
ABOUT BILL SANDERS
Bill’s demonstrated his inherent passion for olive oil, wine and cooking over the years by conducting hundreds of tastings and seminars. His proclivity for olive oil ultimately led to University of California-Davis’ Sensory Evaluation of Olive Oil where he finished third in tasting tests among fifty industry insiders. A subsequent educational focus on wine prompted a long list of culinary certifications and visits to many of the great olive oil and wine regions of the world.
With a professional life that included a successful sweep through the intricacies of governing in Washington D.C., Bill’ enjoyed a career that includes the business of international thoroughbred racing and breeding, the pressures of managing in high technology manufacturing, event planning and video production. He offers world-class seminars focusing on “living the better life,” and became a regular guest on CBS affiliate WKYT-TV’s AfterNoon in Lexington, Kentucky.
Named recently as the U.S. spokesman for 100% Tunisian Olive Oil (www. 100percenttunisian.com), Bill continues to share his expertise and flavorful stories about his travels today through his writing and speaking engagements. His blog about olive oil and wine can be found at www.crushandpress.com.
And there is more…
· Passed the Master-Level Certification for the Rhone and Provence wine regions from the French Wine Society, 2009;
· Attended the Beyond Extra Virgin Conference, an international conference on excellence in olive oil, from agriculture to sensory evaluation to the culinary arts, sponsored by the University of California-Davis Olive Center, Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science and The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone, June 21-23, 2009;
· Completed an advanced sensory evaluation of olive oil course, Raising the Bar on Olive Oil Quality: Views from Down Under (Richard Gawel-AUS and Margaret Edwards-NZ), University of California-Davis Olive Center, 2009;
· Completed Sensory Evaluation of Olive Oil at the UC-Davis in 2003 and 2004;
· Studied at the CIA at Greystone professional wine studies program, 2004-2005;
· Trained at the L’Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, Maryland;
· Trained in sensory evaluation of olive oil and Tuscan cooking at Giuseppe Grappolini’s Centro Culturale Olivarte in Loro Ciuffenna, Italy, 2003;
· Executive producer, a two-time TELLY Award winner for video for non-broadcast in government relations, 2007 & 2008;
· And is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and Salmon P. Chase College of Law and member of the Kentucky Bar Association.
ABOUT CRUSH AND PRESS
Founded in 2009 by Bill Sanders, Crush and Press is a company that “promotes the enjoyment of these wonderful nectars by providing consumers and companies with information on the proper and healthy use of olive oil and different ways to explore wines.” The Washington, DC-based firm provides information, training and tips for exploring, using and enjoying olive oil and wine. Crush and Press will soon be enhancing its services by enabling web visitors to purchase olive oil and other gourmet food products through its online store.
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